The Best Way to Eat Stingray? Smoked, of Course.

When you have a newly minted 6 year old in tow, you go where they are sure to be entertained!   We visited the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores to see the otters, stingrays and turtles and to, of course, have our picture taken in the crab.


Paige in the Crab Shell at the Aquarium

There was even a “petting zoo” where we could touch or pet the sting rays.  They were really very friendly….probably because they thought our fingers were worms or something as equally yummy.


Stingray at North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores

The best food can always be enjoyed upon the recommendation of a local, so we asked the aquarium photographer for his favorite lunch time seafood restaurant.  He recommended The Ruddy Duck in Morehead City which was a short drive from Pine Knoll Shores,.


The Ruddy Duck in Morehead City, NC

He also recommended that we choose the special of the day.  OK….the special on that particular day was the Smoked Stingray Reuben Sandwich.  I was the only one brave enough to put that recommendation into action and actually settled on the Reuben.   I was a little uncertain, however, the waiter told me that if I didn’t like it, he would eat it and I could get something else on the menu.  He was that sure I would enjoy it.


Smoked Stingray Reuben

I couldn’t get my lunch companions to take a bite, but it was actually quite good!  If you are ever in Morehead City, NC, my recommendation for a great meal, right on Onslow Bay, is The Ruddy Duck…. make sure to order their daily special!

In retrospect, it is a little suspicious that the aquarium employee sent us to The Ruddy Duck, recommended the special, which also happened to be the stingray….


The Spirit of Christmas

Tradition, folklore, and chocolate…..that is what Christmas Opening  in Buena Vista, Colorado is all about.  You can expect to consume some yummy chocolate on the first Saturday of December.  Every. year.  You can also plan on Santa arriving in town by wagon in the equine parade.  No matter the weather during the day, you can expect the Parade of Lights to be a chilly but entertaining affair.    This is a small town, home town event, that even tends to draws folks from the front range because this is what memories are made of.  The local businesses depend on this day to end the year successfully and the locals depend on this event to create memories with their children, family and friends.   You can always expect to see Santa and probably a little bit (or lot) of chocolate, but no promises beyond that.  You’ll have to just come visit and see (again, the first Saturday of December) what we have planned.  This is the Spirit of Christmas and we love and believe in Buena Vista…..


Loving on Santa Claus


Santa arrives in Buena Vista by wagon….of course!


Parade of Lights Delivered Santa to Light the Community Tree


Santa Brought a Wagon Full of Little Elves When He Arrived in Town



Big Adventure in a Small Town

The big city doesn’t have anything on small town living!  For years, I thought that living in the city was where the action was, but I guess it depends on what kind of action you are looking for. With only 2300 residents in  town limits, Buena Vista would certainly be classified as “small town”, however, there are all kinds of activities to spice it up a little.  For instance, yesterday, which was Halloween,  Main Street was closed to vehicle traffic in order to allow the elementary kids to strut down the street in their Halloween finery.  You won’t see that in the big city!


Each child in costume had a book or wrote a story which was relevant to  their costume, which they carried with them during the parade.  


This bumble bee was separated from her swarm and took off on her own.


3rd Grade Teacher, Steve, embraced the whole day as a mathematical scientist with an Incredible Hulk Twist!  I was just green with envy!


Right down the middle of the street they strolled!


After the parade, it was back to school for a Halloween party before walking up and down the downtown sidewalks  trick-or-treating.  Paige made sure to stop at Pinon Real Estate Group – BV to accept their offerings.


Hugging the big white Yeti!


There was even a cute little unicorn in town for the day!

As you can see, the city can’t compare to living in a small town.  There are so many unique benefits to being a part of a small community:  Shorter commutes (you can be anywhere in town within 5 minutes); Smaller churches which create more intimacy with your church community; Slower pace of life which leads to a higher quality of life; Low crime rate; Know your neighbor; More community support; Traditional values; Exercise outside of a gym (although we do have gyms too).    Boy, after reviewing all of this, I wonder why anyone would want to live anywhere else?